Are either kickboxing or MMA included as sports in the Special Olympics?

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Special Olympics, founded on August 2 in 1968, Washington, D.C., USA, is the world’s largest humanitarian sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. It provides training and other sports related activities to more than 5 million participants throughout the year. It also provides the same service to the Unified Sports Partners of 172 countries in the world. Today’s topic is searching for the answer whether kickboxing or MMA by mentally and physically challenged fighters can play in the Special Olympics.

Kickboxing not yet recognised as sports:

Kickboxing has not yet been included as a sport in the Special Olympic. Because violence and aggression are opposed to Olympic values. The World Associations of Kickboxing Organisations(WAKO) has applied to the International Olympic Committee to give approval in favour of kickboxing with the status of sports. But most people think the request will be rejected. In case of the Special Olympics, the kickboxing approval possibility is almost zero. Because this special olympics is formed  with already physically weak people who are trained with special care.

Training period injury:

Apart from fighting, kickboxing is dangerous as it is recorded that at least 2.5 injuries occur in an hour of practice. This is higher than the average martial arts, in which 1 injury happens in an hour training period.  The injury is even serious at the professional level.

Disadvantage of kickboxing:

In kickboxing, the bare legs landed heavily on the opponent. The legs usually hit at the neck. At the heat of the moment sometimes accidental kicking to the kidneys and liver happen, though it is absolutely illegal. Kickboxing also to the head could force the opponent to fall onto the floor, causing head concussion and traumatic brain injury. With the kick push the opponent falls violently onto the floor hitting an object could acquire a permanent brain injury.  Inadvertent kickboxing at the base of the brain at the upper neck  might result in incapacitating the opponent to participate for future competition.

MMA not included in special olympics:

MMA fights,too, do not belong to the Special Olympics. Although there are other martial arts including Muay Thai, they are part of the regular Olympics. MMA is a more intense combat sport with punches, kicks, grappling, ground fighting. An MMA fighter is allowed to use all arm chokes such as the Rear Naked, Guillotine, bar arm to choke the opponent to make him submit. All these fighting techniques are taken from mixed martial arts, for example: boxing, Bjj, judo, karate and muay thai.

Muay Thai a part of MMA recognized as Olympic Sport:

Muay Thai is a part of MMA fights. After its 30 years constant request, the International Olympic Committee(IOC) finally certified Muay Thai as an Olympic Sport. IOC also granted the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations permanent membership of the committee.

MMA possibility of inclusion in L.A.28:

Regarding MMA’s inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics the MMA authorities are hopeful. They believe MMA is a mainstream sport in the U.S.A. It has a significant media, commercial and political presence with fast growing popularity. Also, MMA is recognized under state laws in Los Angeles. It is regulated lawfully under the rules of the California State Athletic Commission. It is quite possible the MMA authorities will pull the strings (of power) to convince the International Olympics Committee to include MMA in the upcoming Olympics games in L.A.

MMA less dangerous than Boxing:

Based on research, it has been found that boxing is more dangerous than MMA, causing long term injuries. Boxing was regularly included in the Olympic programme since its inception in 1904. But now, due to governance issues the combat sport(Boxing)has been excluded from the L.A.2028 Olympic programme. It seems self-contradictory that MMA being less dangerous than Boxing is still not yet included in the Olympics. The Special Olympics offers many summer sports for athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities. The sports are mostly performed by individuals like: Sprints, High jump, Long jump, Discus, Longer runs, Shot put, other track-and-field events. Also, Badminton and Football (Soccer).


The people who are mentally and physically challenged are beyond expectation to practise and participate in a fight of kickboxing or MMA fighting. The mission of Special Olympics is to train the physically and intellectually challenged enrolled people so that they can perform in different sports. They are also encouraged to play with participants who are not physically or intellectually disabled.

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